Homeowners unaware of water regulations, research finds

Ian Hughes, WRAS approval manager

A survey of 2,000 British households has revealed a lack of awareness regarding perceptions of water regulations, highlighting potential vulnerabilities in property maintenance and public health.

The study, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Water Regulations Approval Scheme (WRAS), aimed to gauge the familiarity of homeowners with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations.

The survey found that 15% of respondents are acquainted with the regulations, representing a decline from 21% in 2021. The regulations impose a legal duty on everyone to use suitable water fittings when connected to public water supplies. Anything from pipes, fittings, taps, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, to coffee machines, boilers and toilets, need to comply.

Despite this, the survey indicated a prevalent recognition of the risks associated with faulty plumbing products among homeowners. A total of 94% of respondents acknowledge the potential property damage resulting from faulty plumbing, suggesting there is a significant gap in understanding the regulatory frameworks that govern these essential home systems.

The findings revealed 73% of homeowners were aware of the potential health risks posed by untested plumbing products. Non-metallic materials used in water fittings can contaminate drinking water. While a majority had awareness of this, a statement said that the findings emphasise that a large portion of UK households need better information about whether plumbing products have been tested to make informed decisions

A total of 62% of homeowners demonstrate awareness that plumbing products connected to the public water supply must undergo testing to ensure they meet suitable quality and standards. This signifies a willingness among homeowners to engage with regulatory compliance once they are made aware of its significance.

The statement added that many people might expect all products sold to have been successfully tested, but that is not the case. WRAS stressed that manufacturers should always be clear about whether their products have successfully passed mandatory conformity tests.

Ian Hughes, WRAS approval manager, said: “The WRAS approved product logo gives customers assurance that the products have been independently certified to demonstrate compliance with the regulations.”

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